‘No longer a sleepy retirement town’ - Budleigh named in Sunday Times Best Places to Live list

A view west along Budleigh Salterton's pebble beach. Picture: Simon Horn

A view west along Budleigh Salterton's pebble beach. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

People of Budleigh Salterton already knew they lived in an idyllic part of East Devon, but now the whole country knows it. 

The seaside town best known for its pebbly beach and independent shops has been named in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022, released today (Friday, April 8) and is one of the top 10 locations in the South West. 

A rather dull Sunday morning with very little sun but somehow Budleigh Beach is still just as beauti

A rather dull Sunday morning with very little sun but somehow Budleigh Beach is still just as beautiful. I just wish I had taken some money with me so that I could have bought some of the freshly caught fish straight off the beach! Picture: Barbara Mellor - Credit: Barbara Mellor

According to the judges, ‘unspoilt’ Budleigh is ‘no longer a sleepy retirement town’ and has become a ‘hotspot’ for young families, ‘lured by Colyton Grammar, one of the best schools in the Southwest’, as well as a ‘truly lovely’ beach. 

Judges also said the town’s literary and music festivals give Budleigh ‘intellectual bonus points’. 

The town has grown by 6 per cent since 2020 and for those looking to re-locate to Budleigh, the average house price is currently £445,000 – according to data supplied to The Times by Halifax. 

The national newspaper’s expert judges assessed a wide range of factors, from schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street. 

The judges looked to celebrate improving towns, villages or city centres, attractive, well-designed homes and locations ‘bursting with community spirit’. 

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Other South West locations named in the list include Bridport and Sherborne in Dorset, Bristol, Charlton Kings in Gloucestershire, Ashburton, Stroud and Wellow. Chalke Valley in Wiltshire was named top in the South West. 

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective.  

“Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place. For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?” 

To view The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022, visit https://www.thetimes.co.uk/best-places-to-live